Thursday, June 24, 2021

Master Switches - An Interview with Paul Hiscock


For our latest interview, we talk to writer Paul Hiscock about his Master Switches story 'Peacemaker' which revisits an old classic with new characters...

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m an author, dad, and website designer, living in Kent (England). A lot of my stories are Sherlock Holmes pastiches, which have appeared in anthologies from MX Publishing and Belanger Books. However, I also write horror stories for Burdizzo Books, and fantasy stories, including a clockpunk version of Sleeping Beauty. Finally, in the extended universes of Doctor Who, I have written a couple of stories for the City of the Saved series from Obverse Books. You can find out more about all of my stories at www.detectivesanddragons.uk.

What made you want to write a story for Master Switches?

It is always fun to write for iconic characters, but one of the interesting things about the Doctor and the Master is the subtle differences that make their various incarnations unique. I liked the idea of pitting different versions of them against each other and seeing how it changed their relationship.

How would you describe your story in a nutshell?

What if it had been the Seventh Doctor dealing with the Draconians and the Master in The Frontier in Space?

What made you decide which Master and Doctor combo to go with?

I love the smooth and sophisticated original Master played by Roger Delgado, so I wanted to include him. As for the Doctor, while I started watching during Peter Davison’s tenure, I really became a fan during the New Adventures era. The Machiavellian Seventh Doctor and Delgado’s  equally manipulative Master have a lot in common, and I decided it would be fun to pit them against one another.

How did you find the writing process?

The voices of my two main characters were already clear in my head, and they both seemed easy to write for. However, since this is a reimagining of The Frontier in Space, I wanted the tone of the story to feel as close to that as possible. Rewatching it helped, but the most useful thing was Malcolm Hulke’s novelisation of his story, particularly when it came to capturing the ritualised behaviours in the Draconian court.

What aspect of your story are you most proud of?

I was particularly pleased to write a story including the Draconians. I have always been surprised they haven’t returned on television. There is so much untapped potential in this race that is not only visually striking, but also not just another evil alien invader. 

What’s your favourite line from your story?

As a Doctor Who fan, there are certain things it will always be exciting to write. One of the highlights was describing how ‘the Master’s TARDIS landed with a vworp, vworp sound’. However, the best thing was including the classic line, ‘I am the Master, and you will obey me.’

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